Tracy Jansen Tracy Jansen

Grammar - "I can ..." for ability
Elementary level


DLC Celta TP8 Unit 13 - Talents Teaching students the "I can (swim), I can't (swim) ....." grammar for ability, with pronunciation.


Abc Grammar "I can ...." Hand-out
Abc "I can ...." talents visual
Abc Grammar "I can / I can't" ability visual

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification, review and practice of the "I can ..." in the context of ability

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide accuracy of pronunciation, for both the weak and strong forms of "I can ..."


Warmer / Lead-in (8 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students in my final teaching prac lesson.

Teacher to discuss the CELTA course, and the people I have met over the past month. Elaborate on getting to know everyone and learning about their special talents. Display the "Talent" sheet, introduce the abilities, and ask pairs to speculate on which colleague may have which talent. After 2 minutes, generate feedback on who might be able to do what. Only reveal identities at the end of the lesson.

Presentation of, and exposure to, "I can ...." abilities. (10 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through student examples.

Write down example sentence, with +, -, Q and A+, A-. Then ask for 2 students to volunteer a simple ability. Write these on the WB and create a table, showing form for each.

Controlled Practice of target form (5 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

Introduce grammar hand-out, and Grammar visual of Q1, and after ICQs, distribute the worksheet and work through the question together.

Semi-Controlled Practice (5 minutes) • To concept check further and prepare students for free practice

Students to continue with Q2, forming questions with the given information. Ask students by rota to read the corrected questions. Drill the positive and negative replies.

Pronunciation clarification (7 minutes) • To ensure student understanding of the sounds of the weaker and stronger forms of "I can ..."

Refer to WB + - & Q, together with their replies. Highlight 1.) the pronunciation of British vs American accents of "can" and "can't" and the obvious aural differences, and 2.) the stress placed on the stronger and weaker forms of the whole word "can" vs the contracted "kin" sound.

Free Practice • To provide students with free practice of the target language

Pose the obvious question "So what are your talents", and ask students to discuss with their partner, either their own personal abilities or those of someone they know. After 3 minutes pair discussions, ask each pair to volunteer the information they learnt about their partner. In closing, ask students to think about a talent they would like to develop in the future. However ....

Blantant disregard for a conventional end of lesson task (10 minutes) • To complete feedback on the Celta colleagues abilities

Please forgive me, Carla - I realise this is not the stage I should be facilitating, but as it is my final lesson, and I have (hopefully) created interest and curiosity in the students, I will use this final 10 minutes to expose the hidden talents of my colleagues, and slip in the concept of "very well" for Sarah's lesson that follows :)

Web site designed by: Nikue